Average hourly pay

Published

Last updated 15 September 2020 - see all updates

1. Main facts and figures

  • in 2018, employees from the Indian ethnic group had the highest average hourly pay out of all ethnic groups (£13.46)
  • employees from the combined Pakistani and Bangladeshi ethnic group had the lowest (£9.62)
  • the average hourly pay for White employees was £11.87
  • between 2013 and 2018, employees from the Indian ethnic group had the highest hourly pay every year
  • employees from the combined Pakistani and Bangladeshi ethnic group had the lowest hourly pay every year
  • the combined average hourly pay for all ethnic groups went up from £10.54 to £11.82 (a 12.1% increase)

2. Things you need to know

What the data measures

The data measures the average (median) gross hourly pay for all employees aged 16 and over in the UK.

Figures have been rounded to the nearest pence. Some totals may not add up because of rounding.

Not included in the data

The data does not include:

  • earnings of more than £100 per hour – high values are not very common, so excluding them allows the survey to give more accurate estimates
  • sample sizes of less than 30 – this is to protect people’s confidentiality and because the numbers are too small to make any reliable generalisations

How average hourly pay is calculated

Average hourly pay is worked out using:

  • employees’ gross pay before any deductions for things like tax and National Insurance
  • the median, which is the middle point of a range of numbers arranged in order

The ethnic groups used in the data

The data uses the ethnic categories from the 2011 Census.

Data is aggregated for each of the Black, Mixed and Other ethnic groups, which means estimates are shown for these groups as a whole. Data is shown separately for White British and all other White people (‘White Other’ ethnic group). Separate estimates are also shown for 3 Asian ethnic groups (Indian, Pakistani and Bangladeshi, and Asian Other).

Some households contain people from different ethnic backgrounds. The ethnicity assigned to the household is that of the head of the household (usually the person with the highest income). The data does not account for people of different ethnic backgrounds who live in the same household.

Ethnicity was not known for 0.05% of respondents in 2018. Data for people whose ethnicity was unknown is included in the averages for all ethnic groups ('All' in charts and tables).

Methodology

Read the detailed methodology document for the data on this page.

Employees give their hourly rates of pay as part of the Annual Population Survey (APS). This is less precise than asking their employers for their payroll records. As a result, the APS is known to underestimate pay rates, but it is used here because other sources (for example, data on earnings and working hours) do not collect people’s ethnicity.

This analysis uses the median average. Find out more about differences between the mean and median.

The figures on this page are based on survey data. Find out more about interpreting survey data, including how reliability is affected by the number of people surveyed.

In the data file

See Download the data for the number of people who completed the survey, adjusted to represent the whole population (labelled ‘Weighted denominator’ in the data file.)

Find out more about how weighting is used to make survey data more representative of the whole population.

3. By ethnicity over time

Average hourly pay by ethnicity over time
Ethnicity 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018
£ £ £ £ £ £
All 10.54 10.69 10.82 11.02 11.41 11.82
Asian 10.07 9.82 10.16 11.00 11.14 11.80
Indian 11.55 12.03 11.75 12.50 12.76 13.46
Pakistani, Bangladeshi 8.13 7.89 9.11 9.36 9.45 9.62
Asian Other 10.17 9.27 9.76 10.63 11.06 12.50
Black 10.27 10.00 9.91 10.27 10.78 10.80
Mixed 11.00 10.41 10.71 11.26 10.71 12.16
White 10.58 10.81 10.91 11.05 11.46 11.87
White British 10.60 10.83 10.95 11.13 11.53 11.90
White Other 10.13 10.55 10.29 10.38 10.74 11.55
Other 9.69 9.80 10.02 10.17 10.58 10.95

Download table data for ‘By ethnicity over time’ (CSV) Source data for ‘By ethnicity over time’ (CSV)

Summary of Average hourly pay By ethnicity over time Summary

This data shows that:

  • in 2018, the average hourly pay was £11.82, up from £10.54 in 2013
  • employees from the Indian ethnic group had the highest hourly pay (£13.46),
  • employees from the combined Pakistani and Bangladeshi ethnic group had the lowest pay (at £9.62)
  • the gap in hourly pay between employees from the Indian and the combined Pakistani and Bangladeshi ethnic groups was wider in 2018 (£3.84) than in 2013 (£3.42)
  • between 2013 and 2018, employees from the Indian ethnic group had the highest hourly pay every year
  • employees from the combined Pakistani and Bangladeshi ethnic group had the lowest hourly pay every year
  • the biggest increases were in the Asian Other ethnic group (22.9%) and the combined Pakistani and Bangladeshi ethnic group (18.3%)
  • the smallest increase was in the Black ethnic group (5.2%)

4. Data sources

Source

Type of data

Survey data

Type of statistic

National Statistics

Publisher

Office for National Statistics

Publication frequency

Yearly

Purpose of data source

The main purpose of the Annual Population Survey (APS) is to provide good quality estimates about the UK workforce.

It is the largest household study in the UK based on how many people it’s sent to and how in depth the questions are. It provides the official measures of employment and unemployment.

The survey measures all elements of people's work, including:

  • the education and training needed to equip them for work
  • features of their jobs
  • unemployment and jobseeking
  • income from work and benefits

5. Download the data

Average Hourly Pay - Spreadsheet (csv) 5 KB

Ethnicity, year, median hourly pay, mean hourly pay, denominator (weighted)